Hitlers sarcastic response to FDRs peace purposal. April 29, 1939
The Last Gladiator
November 13, 2014
The Roots of Sarcasm
The description says this is a sarcastic response to a "peace proposal". Read Roosevelt's peace proposal for yourself and decide if it deserved anything less that a sarcastic response. Roosevelt's original proposal was the well-spring of sarcasm and Hitler's response was an answer in kind. However, the victors are the ones who write the history books and we may not have an accurate perspective of what really happened for centuries.
Here's an excerpt from Roosevelt's proposal:
"Because the United States, as one of the Nations of the Western Hemisphere, is not involved in the immediate controversies which have arisen in Europe, I trust that you may be willing to make such a statement of policy to me as head of a Nation far removed from Europe in order that I, acting only with the responsibility and obligation of a friendly intermediary, may communicate such declaration to other nations now apprehensive as to the course which the policy of your Government may take."
Though Hitler could not have known at the time, Roosevelt knew what he, himself was willing to do to serve his own best interests and it did not include being a "friendly and far removed intermediary". The not so distant future of 1941 saw Roosevelt as the transgressor of many international treaties and laws: The Lend-Lease Act; the USA's (illegal) occupation of Greenland (April); he proclaimed the USA to be in a state of "unlimited national emergency" many months BEFORE it entered the war; he sent military aid to a battle weary and nearly defeated Soviet Union (violating international law); he sent in troops to occupy Iceland (in July); and finally declared open season (shoot on sight) on German and Italian vessels on the high seas. All of these actions were taken before the USA's open declaration of war against the Axis powers. Definitely not the action of a "neutral friend who has no stake in the game".
"Are you willing to give assurance that your armed forces will not attack or invade the territory or possessions of the following independent nations: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iraq, the Arabias, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Iran."
When one factors in the condition of the world and European events at the time this was written, the above question/statement stinks of heavy sarcasm.
"Such an assurance clearly must apply not only to the present day but also to a future sufficiently long to give every opportunity to work by peaceful methods for a more permanent peace. I therefore suggest that you construe the word "future" to apply to a minimum period of assured non-aggression ten years at the least a quarter of a century, if we dare look that far ahead."
Ten to twenty-five years? World events can change overnight. Especially in a world on the brink of an atomic age; an atomic age backed by ICBM's.
"If such assurance is given by your Government, I shall immediately transmit it to the Governments of the nations I have named and I shall simultaneously inquire whether, as I am reasonably sure, each of the nations enumerated will in turn give like assurance for transmission to you."
"Reciprocal assurances such as I have outlined will bring to the world an immediate measure of relief."
"I propose that if it is given, two essential problems shall promptly be discussed in the resulting peaceful surroundings, and in those discussions the Government of the United States will gladly take part."
"The discussions which I have in mind relate to the most effective and immediate manner through which the peoples of the world can obtain progressive relief from the crushing burden of armament which is each day bringing them more closely to the brink of economic disaster. Simultaneously the Government of the United States would be prepared to take part in discussions looking toward the most practical manner of opening up avenues of international trade to the end that every Nation of the earth may be enabled to buy and sell on equal terms in the world market as well as to possess assurance of obtaining the materials and products of peaceful economic life."
If the Treaty of Versailles and the sanctions placed on Germany were any indication of the West's idea of "opening up avenues on international trade" on "equal terms", this was perhaps the most sarcastic statement in Roosevelt's letter.
"At the same time, those Governments other than the United States which are directly interested could undertake such political discussions as they may consider necessary or desirable."
No government stepped in to help the Germans when the French occupied her cities under the guise of "collecting reparations". Why would Germany expect any other government to come to their aid this time?
"We recognize complex world problems which affect all humanity but we know that study and discussion of them must be held in an atmosphere of peace. Such an atmosphere of peace cannot exist if negotiations are overshadowed by the threat of force or by the fear of war."
In retrospect we now know that the world lived in the shadow of atomic destruction for the next 50 years and the United States gets her way by the threat of force and instilling the fear of war, daily.
This review is not so much a supporting statement for Hitler's answer but a retort to the description given here that simply vilifies Germany, so out of hand and casually.